ENCINO, CA—Actor Paul Giamatti, known for choosing risky and offbeat projects, has been generating buzz among law enforcers for his small but vital part in the murder of area convenience-store clerk Malcolm Mikita. "Even though it was another low-profile job and the big-names are getting more attention, Giamatti almost stole this robbery-homicide," film critic Joel Siegel said after watching surveillance footage of the crime. "He literally had his audience on the ground in tears." Siegel predicted that even Giamatti's harshest critics, including the LAPD and members of the victim's family, would be talking about the performance for years.